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The organizers of the 1940 Golden Gate International Exposition commissioned Diego Rivera to paint a large-scale fresco during the run of the fair. It was the centerpiece of Art in Action, an innovative exhibit where fairgoers could watch artists create their work. Several of these works of art adorn the CCSF Ocean Campus.
After the fair closed, the mural was intended to be placed in the new library of San Francisco Junior College (now City College of San Francisco.) This library was part of a grand architectural plan developed by Timothy Pflueger, a prominent local architect, one of the organizers of the fair, and Rivera’s patron and friend.
World War Two interrupted these plans. Pflueger’s library was never built and the ten panels of the mural were crated and stored first on the fairgrounds and then at the College until Rivera’s death in 1957. That year, Milton Pflueger, Timothy’s younger brother, proposed to install the mural in the lobby of the new campus theater. The mural was moved into this lobby in 1961. It was de-installed and loaned to SFMOMA in the summer of 2020. Plans are to return the mural to a new Diego Rivera Theatre in 2023.
The talk will give some background information on Rivera’s stays in San Francisco, some mural analysis, and a brief presentation on the mural’s move to SFMOMA.